ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany's new indoor football team held their first contact practice Saturday.
The Georgia Firebirds are just 3 days away from their preseason opener at the Civic Center, and they are anxious to hit the ground running.
Naturally, the firebirds finalized roster has plenty of local flavor, including Albany State defensive back Chavius Jackson.
"It's a great opportunity to play in front of all my coworkers, my players," said Jackson. "Because I coach football, I can kind of sort of lead by example by playing professional ball on the highest level. And now my kids see me and they can be influenced by what I'm doing right now."
Jackson currently coaches the defensive backs at Monroe High. He's accompanied by Janell Jones. Another former Golden Ram who also serves on the Tornadoes staff. He's also optimistic about the support from the Good Life City.
"We're just trying to get the community back," said Jones. "And I know they're ready to see arena football. It's very new to town, but when the crowd come out they gone see what Firebird football is all about."
"Same thing we do at Monroe," said Jackson. "We have our kids competing. I coach the defensive backs he coaches the receivers. They steady competing. So now we translate that with professional football. Now me and him competing."
There are 5 total Albany state grads, including Jesse Atkins who just stepped off the Albany Coliseum field, and is transitioning into the indoor game.
"The speed of the game is way faster because it's so much closer," said Atkins. "Your head always got to stay on a swivel. You got to be alert at every turn."
While at ASU, he made an all-SIAC team, won a conference championship and most importantly attracted the eyes of many fans who he hopes will continue to support him in his new gear.
"It's a good feeling to continue playing in the city I've been playing in for the past four years. I know I have good supporters."
He and the rest of the Firebirds are hoping that support will transfer into the Albany Civic Center throughout the season.
For your first glimpse at the Firebirds, they open preseason play on Wednesday in the Albany civic Center against the Capital City Cobras. Kickoff scheduled for 7 PM.